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Disability Parent Q&A with Jennifer Allen

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Q: What about physical therapy? We can’t miss weeks or months of PT.

A: We’ve worked this out a few different ways. Our PT typically has built-in breaks. We do 12 weeks on, then at least four weeks off. That break in between can be a good time to travel, but we also don’t feel limited to that. One of the main purposes of PT is to give parents tools at home to continue therapy. We try to build time into our trip for a playground, pool, or physical activity where we can practice things we’ve been working on. We often have more time to exercise on a trip than during the rush of school and medical routines at home.

If we’re traveling and not on a break, most of our PTs have been willing to meet virtually to check in, provide therapy, and update any exercises or routines.So we don’t miss much being away. In fact, it’s provided great opportunities to practice skills outside of a gym – like trying to maneuver through sand and mulch.

Here’s what some therapists have to say about it:

“Super important for families to get to be a family and have time away… And if they can build in physical activity while they’re on the go, well, that’s even better. I feel like having vacations, and breaks, makes ongoing home programs more sustainable, because it helps with burn out substantially as well.” ~Molly Swaffor of Kids PT by the Sea

“I am a big fan of taking a break. I think it works much better to give something a really good try and then take a weekend off, or week off, while you enjoy your vacation.” ~Gerti Motavalli, spinal stimulation therapist

Next Issue: Transportation while traveling. How do you get around with a wheelchair? Do you rent a large or accessible van? What about public transportation?

Do you have any expertise to share on next issue’s question? Please submit your input, or any questions of your own for future issues, to jennifer@wonderswithinreach.com

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